Kellyanne Conway, a senior counselor to President Donald Trump, made an appearance on Fox & Friends on Wednesday where she made some concerning, double-take worthy comments about COVID-19. The interview — and awe-inspiring comments — came after President Trump's controversial decision to pull funding for the World Health Organization (WHO).
On Wednesday, Trump announced that the United States would halt millions in funds to the World Health Organization while a review was conducted of WHO’s “role in severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus.” As a result, critics are levying even harsher feedback against Trump, citing his failure to respond to the looming threat of the coronavirus back in January and February. His previous attempt to blame the responsibility on the impeachment proceedings was unsuccessful, but nevertheless, he persisted — to place the blame on someone else, that is. And it seems that WHO is Trump's latest target, which his team now needs to defend at all costs. Enter Kellyanne Conway.
In her Fox & Friends appearance that same day, Conway praised Trump’s actions as “decisive and immediate” as she attempted to issue a new narrative that makes Trump’s response time seem much earlier. “Some scientists and doctors say that there could be other strains later on. This could come back in the fall in a limited way,” said Conway. “This is COVID-19, not COVID-1, folks. You would think that people charged with the World Health Organization facts and figures would be on top of that. So there is an investigation, examination to what happened. But people should know the facts.”
It seems that in Conway's "COVID-1" comment, the senior counselor is suggesting that WHO had 18 other chances to perfect a pandemic response before COVID-19. However, unlike Chanel No. 5, COVID-19’s name is not derived from the number of previously documented strains of coronavirus. The name stands for “coronavirus disease 2019.” The number identifies the year in which it was discovered, as the first confirmed cases of coronavirus were documented in China toward the end of 2019.
According to a WHO report on February 11, "Following WHO best practices for naming of new human infectious diseases, which were developed in consultation and collaboration with the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), WHO has named the disease COVID-19, short for 'coronavirus disease 2019.'" WHO also noticed that the actual virus which causes COVID-19 is SARS-CoV-2, which stands for "severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2."
Either Conway is unsettlingly lacking in her understanding of the disease despite being a high-ranking adviser to the president, or she is knowingly feigning ignorance in order to make her point that she does not think highly of the World Health Organization and that the more than 1 million people who watch the show regularly should think the same.